Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Home isn't everything.

Home is where you stagnate
inside barrels of old water.
Home is replaying
until that same song
becomes only a noise you don't hear.
Home is watching over others,
nodding attentively,
and pressing down on the tops
of bursting suitcases
as they leave.
Home is watching the world
from a pale balcony,
with linked arms
through the neighbour's,
whose always was there.
Home is breathing
to the beat of alarm clocks,
no longer looking
at the tops of buildings.
Home is when you can't tell
one season from another,
or when you can't remember
the last time
it felt so cold.
Home is boxes
of obligatory birthday cards
and wishes that mean well
once every year.
Home is in things
we're afraid to be rid of
lest we find nothing
and no-one
to fill empty arms.
Home is pulled muscles
and the tug of routine.
Home is set-up
like a well-laid out table;
with knives and forks
of stainless steel.

Nov 2009.

Between Orion and Lidl.

There is freedom in mist
and early mornings.

There is freedom
in sobriety
late at night

across decades.

There is a freedom
that shakes me
to the bone

and moves me
all over

an earth
I am not
falling off
or out of
love with.

There is freedom
an extra coat
when the temperature
even slightly.

Nov 2009.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wszystko gra (?)

You looked overwrought,
I thought.

I understood about twenty percent of the words you said,
the rest went
over my...
and I nodded my...


My wife asked me to take her home
so, I did.

You're telling me you can finish quicker than this?

Mother. Do you hear voices when I telephone?

How old were you? Nineteen?
Nonsense. I was there when you dived in.

Father, father, are these ties we are wearing?

'You're lucky',
you said,
'because no-one has trounced on your dreams.'

That's because I don't write them down anymore,
not since the spell-check.

What do you mean I have no daughter yet?
I overslept.

I got a job fitting fables
to distant points in history.

I got a job asking questions
of computer screens.

I turned the lights off because I read
that was the best way to feel empty,
but I just felt full
of the feeling that I could not see.

How can you be taller
if you're not older than me?


Nov 2009.

The Trouble with View-finders

The past is in front of me and I am filtering it through into narrow boxes.
No: 'he'.

The past is in front of him and he is filtering it through into tiny boxes;
as features gain density
he files them away with a growing intensity.
No: 'I'.

I am over -
The world is wider
than I
but it does not fit to the shape of my view-finder
and my long-searching
only ever composes itself before the same long-found landscapes.
No: 'he'.

He has an idea of a beach
and somewhere within is held the thing he is lacking,
the core of that he is striving towards;
somewhere inside his head's poorly written romantic novel are the
hills and moon
and a face he does not see,
obscured by the shade of too many wine bottles,
a high tide
and cheap cigars.
No: 'I'.

I squint into the recesses of imagination
deep in crevices
beneath the elegant necks
of muted glass bottles.
I curl my eyes up
and proffer my nail-pestered labels
to an empty box I drew
round my heart
with a HB pencil I found
in the pit of someone else's handbag.
No: 'he'.

He is filling the empty face he is hounding
with the mannerisms and mistakes
of every Tom
and dick
he'd like to marry.
He is trying to write an epic
on one page.
Beyond paper-mache,
plastic dolls and vodka; he has grown stronger,
his bones are made from filing cabinets.
No: 'I'.

I am trying to empty my folders.
I am trying not to rely on face recognition.
I am trying to keep my gaze at my feet,
or, at the very furthest, the end of the week.
I am trying not to travel in my sleep.
No: 'he'.

He is trying not to make his mark on everything.
He is trying not to live on the beach.

Nov 2009.

Friday, 20 November 2009

All the Digits

My fingers are dark and empty;
lacking adjectives they wind their torsos,
wriggle their keratin heads into replicas of crudely-cut paths
streaking themselves into the sides of long-standing mountains.

My fingers are cursing me
and I cannot look. Better
a hand in my mouth than a foot;
better a nail round my teeth than a tongue
in my cheek.

My fingers are writing a story about me;
they are touching the characters
in all the right places;
down the sweat of thick necks;
clogging up nostrils
that attempt to breathe love
all over.

My fingers are closing and opening
like curtains.
They are keeping you out.
They are letting you in.

My fingers are picking sleep out of the corners of eyes
and scooping lint from novelty belly-buttons.

My unwashed fingers
are twisting the intricacies of my name
into the back hairs of strangers.

My fingers are refreshing
and refreshing
and refreshing
this page.

Nov 2009.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


My skin is soft, but moves far from its point of origin.
I have my father's eyes.
My smile is unstoppable
because I have learnt that nothing touches me.
Dying cells float from me, describing spirals to the ground.

My hands are unfathomable,
I do not understand how they hold things;
how this skin that is losing form is keeping grip.

I think I am beginning, I will not write the main body of this text,
I do not want anything to mean anything,
and yet I dream of permanent things.

I want everything I lack,
but not yet.

I sit awake at night skimming stones over pages,
I sit awake at night propping up shelves.

And while your family dies and your friends get older,
while your interest doubles and your ISA makes you wiser,
while you pine over the scent of old love letters
and fight dust and build utility rooms and buy kettles;
I pretend nothing is changing;

singing loudly over the thrash of hot water,
working up a lather into dyed hair and plucked eyebrows,
I do not notice what I am missing
and my body falls hastily to the ground.

Nov 2009

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Well Aligned

A series of facial expressions
caught in the crossfire of passing days.
When this all falls to dust
your eyelids, teeth, tongue, grimace
will be the things to remain;
the only way back into an old name.

The crossfire of passing days,
long-sought and linear:
a firing squad cut-out for pin-up calendars;
the only ring of bullets we would wish for our fingers.

When this all falls to dust and I to some forgotten side-dish,
an entree to a future of lessening,
to the gluttony of youth and clocks;
when this all falls, and the bottom is both closer
and harder than we thought,
we will find our final inklings
concerned only with the consistency of endings,
with the density of tarmac,
and in our being all wrapped up,
(once and for all)
without guilt,
in bits and pieces of ourselves.

Your eyelids, your teeth and your fingernails;
how I describe you.
I have forgotten how you called me, why I came.

The thing to remain is already without me;
I am a face in a picture, that I now look upon as child.

There is no way back into my old name.

Only serious facial expressions remain.